Ancient Egyptian history is now accessible in schools across Australia, courtesy of a mobile museum. “Tutankhamun: The Roadshow,” affectionately known as the King Tut Roadshow, is a collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts housed in a semi-trailer.
Curated and founded by Seventh-day Adventist church member Wayne French, the vision for the roadshow is to bring history to schools and communities — particularly in rural areas — on the east coast of Australia.
During the roadshow experience, participants move through three theatrettes, all equipped with state-of-the-art multimedia displays and glass cabinets housing the ancient artifacts. Described as a “sensory learning experience,” objects can be held and examined, along with learning resources and materials also provided for teachers.
“One of the aims is to be able to go out into the community in places we wouldn’t be able to go normally — for example, public schools and shopping centers — and introduce them to how God has been leading through our history,” said Wayne Krause, church planting and urban mission director for the South Pacific Division.
The roadshow, which was officially dedicated in February, received significant funding from the Seventh-day Adventist Church General Conference, the South Pacific Division, the Australian Union Conference, and the North New South Wales and Greater Sydney conferences. Although it has been trialed at camps and local churches in recent years, the first official visits were to two non-Adventist schools in Newcastle.
“Schools need it because they have to teach history as part of the curriculum,” Krause said. “Instead of going to museums, we’ve got this truck that can come to them. But it’s also a stepping stone for further things to happen — church planting teams and centers of influence teams can be involved when they go into an area where there’s no Adventist presence, and they can be there and start building relationships.”
Further connections have also been developed between the roadshow and the Hope Channel Bible school. Since the 1990s, the school has produced mailing cards corresponding to a course based on ancient Egypt, archaeology and the Middle East during Bible times. In 2017, the cards were redesigned to match the Tut Roadshow artwork, and, depending on the audience, French places the cards at the exit for people to take or enquire about.
“The Tut Roadshow is a fantastic way to connect with people who are searching for deeper biblical truths,” said Bible school director Wayne Boehm. “So far, we’ve had more than 100 people complete our archaeology course as a direct result of the letterbox cards. This ministry is something that has the potential to reach people in such a new and innovative way, and it’s our prayer that this will be a blessing to kids and adults across Australia.”